The Colmore Business District (Colmore BID) established the Future Business District Study to inform long-term recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic and offer policy directions on best practice for central business districts across the UK.
It commissioned a team from City-REDI, University of Birmingham and the West Midlands Combined Authority to deliver a research programme, supported by an independent Advisory Panel and a range of partners. The project focused on prospects for Birmingham’s city centre business district in the medium- and longer-term, addressing two questions:
- What is the likely long-term impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on city centre business districts?
- How can we ensure they remain successful as places to attract businesses and people and contribute to vibrant city centres?
An initial research phase involved an evidence and data review; workshops on ‘megatrends’; and a call for evidence. A subsequent engagement phase involved in-depth interviews with 21 businesses and stakeholders; Advisory Panel meetings to help develop future scenarios; facilitated discussions on future infrastructure, place and urban experience; supplementary individual meetings; and engagement with a broader community panel on working patterns and broader use of cities and city centres.